When The Dragons Return to Orlando Will You Be There?
Teams from near and far will use ancient Chinese culture and sport to help raise money for local cancer patients. Dragons will race through the waters of Turkey Lake at Bill Frederick Park for the 9th Annual Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival presented by PepsiCo on Saturday, October 15. The dragons are filled by teams of 20 paddlers and range from corporations, social groups or friends looking for something fun to do outdoors. The event promises lots of action on and off the water.
“One of the reasons dragon boat is becoming so wildly popular is because of its inclusivity. A person of any age, size, and physical ability can get in a boat and paddle,” says Aaron Soroka, Chief Operating Officer, GWN Dragon Boat. “The key to dragon boating is paddling in-sync so the focus isn’t on power but rather the ability to work
together as a team.”
That is one reason many of the more than 70 teams come back to compete year after year. It’s also a more unique experience to share with others who support an active and healthy lifestyle. This year a number of local companies will join the races for the first time.
Many want to ensure local cancer patients receive services not covered by insurance. When teams registered to participate in the 9th Annual Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival presented by PepsiCo, part of the fee paid benefits the Orlando Health Foundation. The Foundation then donates the money to the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health.
The event, just as the sport of dragon boat, refuses to leave anyone out of the fun. The Asian Cultural Expo presented by Asia Trend Magazine showcases Asia’s diverse culture via exhibitions, performances, and crafts. Returning once again is the Walgreens Health and Wellness Village, a festival staple; it offers products and highlights services geared
towards a healthy lifestyle. Participants and spectators can also browse and shop in the Marketplace, while kids of all ages can release pent up energy in the Kids Activity Zone.
All festivities are free to the public. This year’s food truck bazaar showcases flavors from around the world and features these local favorites: Willy T’s Crabshack, MonstaLobsta, El Cubanito Subs, Dixie Dharma, Kona Ice, APP’s Wings & Burgers, and Cilantro Urban Eatery. Participants and spectators can also grab a cold beer from the New Belgium Beer Garden.
What: 9th Annual Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival presented by PepsiCo.
When: Saturday, October 15, 2016, 8:00AM-4PM.
Where: Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando.
Admission: Free for all spectators, please alert the front gate that you are attending the dragon boat festival. Signs will be posted to direct drivers to parking.